Point Break

A Review By Jason L. King
Starring: Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Rated: R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Released: 1991

Final Grade: <

I really don’t remember the 90’s the way they were portrayed on film. I remember some of the fads, like MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice battling it out for top record spots, I remember Poison and GNR and who could forget Nirvana. I remember using words like radical and awesome, tubular and bossanova (well maybe not a few of those) but I don’t remember them sounding stupid at the time.

This last week I had a chance to rewatch Point Break. Point Break is an action film set in the 90s about an FBI agent named Johnny Utah (Reeves) who is investigating bank robberies that are believed to be conducted by a group of surfers. He befriends a hardcore surfer, Bohdi (Swayze), who likes to live life and waves to the fullest. But as the evidence starts to point in Bohdi’s direction can Johnny Utah see the case through to the end.

Upon watching this a second time I realized that The Fast and The Furious was Point Break with cars instead of surf boards. There wasn’t much difference. The studios even picked terrible actors to play the leads (Keanu and Paul Walker). The film’s reek of similarity but I think that Point Break actually works a bit better.

Swayze does a good job in the film, but Reeves is awful, almost beyond awful. Keanu always sounds a bit dumb in films but this one is over the top. I always assume that there is at least one point in the film where Keanu says something so stupid that it takes you out of the film (“I know Kung Fu”- Matrix or “It’s Been an Honor to serve with you on this field of battle”- The Replacements). Problem is Keanu opens his mouth in this film and you are just waiting to wince in pain from the stupidity. Perhaps this is because of the nicknames of the surfers and the slang that was popular at the time. This definitely is hard to keep a straight face through. At one point Swayze is telling Reeves that that “Other dude, Warchild, he’s not right. He’s all about getting radical.” How they cover up Keanu’s bad acting is by putting him next to his partner, Gary Busey who seems slightly more insane that Keanu.

But where Point Break does suceed is as an action film. You have gun fights, Surfing, Bank robberies, sky diving with no parachutes…you know “radical” stuff. In all seriousness, the film is some good old solid action. It’s a fun escapist action film that is worth a look at. If you go in expecting the greatest thing ever printed on film, of course you will be let down. If you are looking for something to entertain you for a few hours, put Point Break on your list.

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